Ever since I can remember, I've heard people saying the meaning of life is "to be happy".
I've never bought in to that at all. It just feels wrong somehow. It feels like a cheap, schmaltzy greeting card answer.
Of course, I still have that deep, primal, instinctual need to know. Hell, maybe that's the autistic in me - yet again always trying to rationalise, think, process and explain such fundamental life issues, rather than feel them instinctively as neurotypicals seem to do. But, I've never trusted a NT's response on such important matters. After all, they're untrustworthy, conflicted, contradictory and superficial creatures.
Sooo... I thought I'd turn to my most trusted brethren and ask - in your most philosophical moments, what do you think we're on this crazy, marvellous, magical and mysterious earth for...
… what's the meaning of life?
The meaning of life ~ why are we here?
We are here, to enjoy, to take in, to completely surrender to and to drink in every single precious mouth full of this most precious gift we have, this thing called life.
Life is the force behind every beat of your heart. It is forever giving. To give and express itself is it’s only job. Life doesn’t get, it gives.
When we are therefore trying to get something from life, we are in-fact, in conflict with our very own life force, our very own nature. We are working against life. We are human beings. All we have to do is be and in that moment, in any given moment, they’re all the same. This moment now is the same as a moment a thousand years ago and it will be the same moment in another thousand years. And life is about being present for every single one of these moments.
And in these moments, when we are fully present, we get to experience the wonder of life. It is so spectacular it cannot even begin to be understood by the human intellect.
Einstein understood it and years after he made his general theory of relativity, with exceptionally better equipment and understanding, physicists still cannot believe how he was able to predict so precisely the figures etc pertaining to his theory all those years ago. Life is exact, precise and completely non judgemental. The sun shines on everyone.
People think I’m an absolute freak of nature because I’m so ridiculously happy. They’ve been trying to catch me out for years. What they don’t realise, is that they are just as happy as me. If they stopped believing their thoughts, if they stopped believing the images in their head, they would be left with good old happiness. The essence of life.
I don’t watch television or movies, listen to the radio or modern music, I don’t read newspapers and rarely read magazines, I’m not on social media and don’t indulge in gossip or idle conversation and I especially don’t engage in complaining ~ although the more I’m around nt’s, the more it creeps in so I will be re-reading a complaint free world and re-doing the challenge. I have very little going into my head that I don’t choose to go in there so my thoughts are either full of overflowing gratitude for my life and this insanely wonderful world or I’ve got a single line of a song playing, over and over again, which fills me with joy.
Sure, sometimes I’m working stuff out and sometimes I get to experience the overwhelming emotion of grief or sorrow. But I don’t see this as a negative. I feel so honoured that I get to experience the full range of human emotions and now I’m beginning to understand them, it gives me a stronger connection to life. It helps me to be compassionate towards others. It humbles me. It lets me know that life isn’t ‘out there’, it’s here, in my heart, this is where I feel the pain, the sorrow, the sadness, the fear, the grief, the love, the joy, the happiness, the absolute awe at how wonderful this life is.
I open my eyes in a morning and before I’ve barely woken up, I think WoW, I’m alive. I have another day of loving. Another day of living. Another day of giving. What can I give today? What fabulous things are going to happen today? Who can I give love to?
For the past two years, that love has gone to me. I have had to live with my family believing I was the most selfish person on Earth, especially as my dad is dying of cancer. But I won’t fake life and as difficult as my situation has been, it has not taken away my happiness. How could it? What other people think of me is none of my business. It doesn’t affect me unless I too believe what they believe about me. They are so far off the mark that I would have to be a fool to believe them. And most of the time, in fact probably 100% of the time, my thoughts and definitely my initial thoughts, around a situation, are also far off the mark. So I don’t believe my thoughts either. That way, I remain happy, alive and enjoying every moment of this life.
It depends on how you think you got here though. Who you fundamentally believe yourself to be.
But I believe, we are each a most precious, beautiful, beyond exceptional piece of the whole. Like there’s a big diamond and we are each a diamond from that diamond. We are here to express this thing called life.
What is it that’s alive in you? What makes your heart beat faster? What do you love to do?
We each have different gifts and skills. We are all here to express our own unique gifts and skills. We’re not in competition with anybody. We’re not trying to win anything. One life or one way of life is no better than another. Outside circumstances are just that. Outside circumstances. It’s all an inside job and there’s only one person who can control that. There is nothing or nobody outside of ourselves that can ever hurt us or make us happy, only we can do that. And we do it by believing the thoughts and images inside our heads or not.
Some people say youth is wasted on the youth. But I say, life is wasted on the living. So many people have life, (well that includes everyone that’s living), something that probably most dead people would give all that they had to have just one hour of it. But they focus all their time and attention on getting things, achieving things, making themselves right, what the politicians are up to, what’s this person up to, etc etc etc and life passes them by and they realise, at the end of their life, that they struggled and saved and worked hard and achieved things, but they forgot to live, to enjoy their life, to love instead of hate, to give, but not to receive, to appreciate the wonder of this world.
But at the end of the day, the world is a perfect creation. It is always perfect. It can’t not be, so however it is now, is exactly as it’s supposed to be. How do I know? Because that’s how it is and you can’t argue with reality. If you do, you will lose, but only 100% of the time.
Haha. This would have been my answer too!
It is certainly important not just go through the motions. We have this strange self awareness, consciousness, then poof, one day we die. Yet mostly being stuck in this weird body surrounded by people who seem to spend most of their time being horrible to other people and creating horrible institutions that chain our minds and bodies still further. To say nothing of forcing other animals into mass extinctions, fouling our nests to the point of no return and still capable of blowing most of life up in some bellicose act of lunacy.
Probably better not to pursue it. I am in such a bad mood right now...
As an essentially subjective question, the meaning of life will be different for each individual.
As a species we are unique on this planet in that we create an almost infinite number of objects designed for a particular purpose and function, for example tools and machinery. Yet we are unable to discern our own purpose. For some religion provides the answer. As an atheist, I consider the furtherance of knowledge accrued by previous generations to be an acceptable collective purpose.
The value of life is usually measured in terms of happiness and contentment. Societies that score highest in these feelings are those with the most equitable distribution of wealth, resources and rights.
So one could argue the meaning of life is to pursue the advancement of both knowledge and inclusivity.
I take a different view.
We are just animals - we have only three reflexes when we see things - can I eat it, can I f*** it, should I run from it.
This is programmed millions of years ago and, like birds with their elaborate mating dances, we have added layers of rituals to each of the three basic reflexes.
Everything we do can be boiled down to one of those three drivers - getting a good education to get a good job - proves you are a provider and worth mating with. Choosing clothes - exactly like a peacock's tail - it's to attract a mate.
Shopping at Tescos replaces having to select and hunt for food. The job gives the means to hunt (money).
Work anxiety, stress, lack of money, fear of losing your job replaces the sabre-toothed tiger - that goes down to 'should I run from it'. It's all very primal.
So I believe consciousness and intelligence are an illusion - we are all just simple animals with millions of years of mating dance rituals layered upon themselves sooooo deep that we believe we have free thought.
Therefore, there is no meaning to life.
Either that or 6x7
Crikey, eliminative materialism early on a Sunday morning. I would argue that the internal phenomena of qualia would suggest otherwise.
Plastic said: can I eat it, can I f*** it, should I run from it.
Is that why you're always smiling?
Plastic said:can I eat it, can I f*** it, should I run from it.
I would reconsider the order of precedence if I were you Plastic. Maybe, 2, 3 an 1 is more optimal if referring to the same entity. But, it’s your life, and your choice.
I'm a man of simple tastes.
An interesting philosophy paper has recently been published, that may interest you. https://philpapers.org/rec/MIKFWC?ref=mail